Reaction Engines Ltd. Skylon (Reusable Spaceplane)

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Reaction Engines Ltd. Skylon (Reusable Spaceplane)

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Image
^ Skylon

Introduction
Skylon is a design for a single-stage-to-orbit spaceplane by the British company Reaction Engines Limited (REL), using SABRE, a combined-cycle, air-breathing rocket propulsion system, potentially reusable for 200 flights. In paper studies, the cost per kilogram of payload carried to low Earth orbit in this way is hoped to be reduced from the current £1,108/kg (as of December 2015), including research and development, to around £650/kg, with costs expected to fall much more over time after initial expenditures have amortised. In 2004, the developer estimated the total lifetime cost of the programme to be about $12 billion.

The vehicle design is for a hydrogen-fuelled aircraft that would take off from a purpose-built runway, and accelerate to Mach 5.4 at 26 kilometres (16 mi) altitude using the atmosphere's oxygen before switching the engines to use the internal liquid oxygen (LOX) supply to take it into orbit. Once in orbit it would release its payload (of up to 15 tonnes). The vehicle will be unpiloted, but also be certified to carry passengers. All payloads could be carried in a standardised container compartment. The relatively light vehicle would then re-enter the atmosphere and land on a runway, being protected from the conditions of re-entry by a ceramic composite skin. When on the ground, it would undergo inspection and necessary maintenance. If the design goal is achieved, it should be ready to fly again within two days.

As of 2012, only a small portion of the funding required to develop and build Skylon had been secured. The research and development work on the SABRE engine design is proceeding under a small European Space Agency (ESA) grant. In January 2011, REL submitted a proposal to the British government to request additional funding for the project and in April REL announced that they had secured $350 million of further funding contingent on a test of the engine's precooler technology being successful. Testing of the key technologies was successfully completed in November 2012, allowing Skylon's design to advance to its final phase. On 16 July 2013 the British government pledged £60M to the project: this investment will provide support at a "crucial stage" to allow a full-scale prototype of the SABRE engine to be built.

If all goes to plan, the first ground-based engine tests could happen in 2019, and Skylon could be performing unmanned test flights by 2025. It could carry 15 tonnes of cargo to a 300 km equatorial orbit on each trip, and up to 11 tonnes to the International Space Station, almost 45% more than the capacity of the European Space Agency's ATV vehicle.


Research and Development Programme
Background and early work
Skylon is based on a previous project of Alan Bond, known as HOTOL. The development of HOTOL began in 1982, at a time when space technology was moving towards reusable launch systems such as the Space Shuttle. In conjunction with British Aerospace and Rolls-Royce, a promising design emerged to which the British government contributed £2 million. However, in 1988, the government withdrew further funding, and development was terminated. Following this setback, Bond decided to set up his own company, Reaction Engines Limited, with the hope of continuing development with private funding.

After securing more funding in the 1990s, the initial design underwent radical revision and, since 2000, Reaction Engines has been working with the University of Bristol to develop an engine design vital to the success of Skylon. The STRICT/STERN designs resulting from this programme were deemed a great success. The next stage of development will be to construct a full-sized working prototype of the SABRE Engine.

There are several differences compared with HOTOL. Whereas HOTOL would have launched from a rocket sled, to save weight, Skylon uses a conventional retractable undercarriage. Skylon's revised engine design, the SABRE engine, is expected to offer higher performance. HOTOL's rear mounted engine gave the vehicle intrinsically poor in-flight stability. Early attempts to fix this problem had ended up sacrificing much of HOTOL's payload potential, and contributed to the failure of the project. Skylon solves this by placing engines at the end of its wings, but further forward and much closer to the vehicle's centre of mass longitudinally.

Project Brief
REL intends ultimately to operate as a for-profit commercial enterprise, manufacturing Skylon vehicles for multiple international customers; these customers will operate their fleets directly, with support from REL. While REL intends to manufacture some components directly, such as the engine precooler, other components have been designed by partner companies and a consortium of various aerospace firms is expected to handle full production of Skylon. According to Management Today, Skylon has been discussed as a possible replacement for NASA's Space Shuttle.

In service, Skylon could potentially lower satellite launch costs from the current £15,000/kg to £650/kg, according to evidence submitted to the UK parliament by Reaction Engines Ltd.[15] Funding for the project from the British government has often been difficult to obtain. Speaking on the topic of Skylon in 2011, David Willetts, the UK Minister of State for Universities and Science, stated:

"The European Space Agency is funding proof of concept work for Skylon from UK contributions. This work is focusing on demonstrating the viability of the advanced British engine technology that would underpin the project. Initial work will be completed in mid 2011 and if the trial is successful, we will work with industry to consider next steps."


Funding and Engine Development
An unsuccessful request for funding from the British government was issued in 2000. This involved a proposal offering a potentially large return on investment. Subsequent discussions with the British National Space Centre (which later became the UK Space Agency) led to a major funding agreement in February 2009 between the British National Space Centre, European Space Agency (ESA) and REL for €1 million ($1.28 million) to produce a demonstration engine for Skylon by 2011.

The Technology Demonstration Programme will last approximately 2.5 years and will benefit from another €1 million from ESA. This programme will take Reaction Engines Ltd from a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 2/3 up to 4/5. The former UK Minister for Science and Innovation in 2009, Lord Drayson, commented on Skylon in a speech: "This is an example of a British company developing world-beating technology with exciting consequences for the future of space."

As of 2012, the funding required to develop and build the entire craft has not yet been secured, and so current research and development work is focused on the engines, under an ESA grant of €1 million. In January 2011, REL submitted a proposal to the British Government requesting additional funding for the Skylon project.[15] On 13 April 2011, REL announced that the Skylon design had passed several rigorous independent reviews. On 24 May 2011, ESA publicly declared the design to be feasible, having found "no impediments or critical items" in the proposal.

The major milestone of the commencement of static testing of the engine precooler and the SABRE engine was achieved in June 2011, marking the start of Phase 3 in the Skylon development programme. An REL spokesperson announced that they had secured $350 million of further funding, contingent on successful completion of the full-sized precooled jet engine test in June 2011. Engine testing was initiated in June 2011 and was expected to continue to the end of that year. However, testing was delayed until April 2012.

On 9 May 2011, REL stated that a preproduction prototype of the Skylon could be flying by 2016, and the proposed route would be a suborbital flight between the Guiana Space Centre near Kourou in French Guiana and the North European Aerospace Test Range, located in northern Sweden. Pre-orders are expected in the 2011–2013 time frame coinciding with the formation of the manufacturing consortium. On 8 December 2011, Alan Bond, speaking at the 7th Appleton Space Conference, stated that Skylon would enter into service by 2021-2022 instead of 2020 as previously envisaged.

In April 2012, REL announced that the first phase of the precooler test programme had been successfully completed. On 10 July 2012, REL announced that the second of three series of tests has been completed successfully. The test facilities underwent upgrades to allow the third and final phase of testing to proceed. On 13 July 2012, ESA Director-General Jean-Jacques Dordain told Space News that ESA would hold talks with REL to develop a further "technical understanding".

Following a successful propulsion system test that was audited by ESA's propulsion division in mid-2012, the company announced that it would begin a three-and-a-half-year project to develop and build a test rig of the Sabre engine to prove the engine's performance across its air-breathing and rocket modes. In November 2012, it was announced that a key test of the engine precooler had been successfully completed, and that ESA had verified the precooler's design. The project's development is now allowed to advance to its next phase, which involves the construction and testing of a full-scale prototype engine. In June 2013, George Osborne, The Chancellor of the Exchequer stated on his Twitter account that the British government would be giving £60 million towards the further development of the SABRE engine. Osborne's tweet stated: "Just seen SABRE -a rocket engine that cools air from 1000 degrees to -150 in fraction of a second. We're backing the future with £60m funding". This grant was later reduced to £50 million and was approved by the European Commission in August 2015.

In October 2015, BAE Systems entered into an agreement with Reaction Engines where it would invest £20.6 million in Reaction Engines to acquire 20% of its share capital and help develop the SABRE engine


Technology and Design
The Skylon spaceplane is designed as a two-engine, "tailless" aircraft, which is fitted with a steerable canard.
Skylon is a fully reusable single stage to orbit (SSTO) vehicle, able to achieve orbit without staging. Proponents of SSTO claim that staging causes a number of problems due to its complexity that includes being difficult or impossible to recover and reuse many parts, leading to great expense, and therefore believe that SSTO designs hold the promise of reducing the cost of space-flight. It is intended for Skylon to take off from a specially strengthened runway, fly to low earth orbit, re-enter the atmosphere, and land upon a runway like a conventional aeroplane.

The design of the Skylon C2 features a large cylindrical payload bay, 13 m (42 ft 8 in) long and 4.8 m (15 ft 9 in) in diameter. It is designed to be comparable with current payload dimensions, and able to support the containerisation of payloads that Reaction Engines hopes for in the future. To an equatorial orbit, Skylon could deliver 15 t (33,000 lb) to a 300 km (190 mi) altitude or 11 t (24,000 lb) to an 800 km (500 mi) altitude. Using interchangeable payload containers, Skylon could be fitted to carry satellites or fluid cargo into orbit, or, in a specialised habitation module, up to 30 astronauts in one launch.

Because the engine uses the atmosphere as reaction mass at low altitude, it will have a high specific impulse (around 2,800 seconds), and burn about one fifth of the propellant that would have been required by a conventional rocket. Therefore, it would be able to take off with much less total propellant than conventional systems. This, in turn, means that it does not need as much lift or thrust, which permits smaller engines, and allows conventional wings to be used. While in the atmosphere, using wings to counteract gravity drag is more fuel-efficient than simply expelling propellant (as in a rocket), again reducing the total amount of propellant needed.

The payload fraction would be significantly greater than normal rockets and the vehicle should be fully reusable (200 times or more)


Image
^ SABRE engine

SABRE engines
One of the most significant features of the Skylon design is the engine, called SABRE, the Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine.
The engines are designed to operate much like a conventional jet engine to around Mach 5.5 (1,700 m/s), 26 kilometres (16 mi) altitude, beyond which the air inlet closes and the engine operates as a highly efficient rocket to orbital speed. The proposed SABRE engine is not a scramjet, but a jet engine running combined cycles of a precooled jet engine, rocket engine and ramjet. Originally the key technology for this type of precooled jet engine did not exist, as it required a heat exchanger that was ten times lighter than the state of the art. Research conducted since then has achieved the necessary performance.

Operating an air-breathing jet engine at velocities of up to Mach 5.5 poses numerous engineering problems. Several previous engines proposed by other designers worked well as jet engines but performed poorly as rockets. This engine design aims to be a good jet engine within the atmosphere, as well as being an excellent rocket engine outside. The problem with operating at Mach 5.5 has been that the air coming into the engine rapidly heats up as it is compressed into the engine; due to certain thermodynamic effects, this greatly reduces the thrust that can be produced by burning fuel. Attempts to avoid these issues typically make the engine much heavier (scramjets/ramjets) or greatly reduce the thrust (conventional turbojets/ramjets). In either case the end result is an engine that has a poor thrust to weight ratio at high speeds, resulting in an engine that is too heavy to assist much in reaching orbit.

The SABRE engine design aims to avoid this by using some of the liquid hydrogen fuel to cool helium in a closed-cycle precooler, which quickly reduces the temperature of the air at the inlet. The air is then used for combustion much like in a conventional jet, and once the helium has left the pre-cooler it is further heated by the products of the pre-burner, giving it enough energy to drive the turbine and the liquid hydrogen pump. Because the air is cooled at all speeds, the jet can be built of light alloys and the weight is roughly halved. Additionally, more fuel can be burnt at high speed. Beyond Mach 5.5, the air would become unusably hot despite the cooling, so the air inlet closes and the engine relies solely on on-board liquid oxygen and hydrogen fuel as in a normal rocket.


Fuselage and Structure
The fuselage of Skylon is expected to be a carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer space frame; a light and strong structure that supports the weight of the aluminium fuel tanks and to which the ceramic skin is attached. Multiple layers of reflective foil thermal insulation fill the spaces of the frame.

The currently proposed Skylon model C2 will be a large vehicle, with a length of 82 metres (269 ft) and a diameter of 6.3 metres (21 ft). Because it will use a low-density fuel, liquid hydrogen, a great volume is needed to contain enough energy to reach orbit. The propellant is intended to be kept at low pressure to minimise stress; a vehicle that is both large and light has an advantage during atmospheric reentry compared to other vehicles due to a low ballistic coefficient. Because of the low ballistic coefficient, Skylon would be slowed at higher altitudes where the air is thinner. As a result, the skin of the vehicle would reach only 1,100 K (830 °C). In contrast, the smaller Space Shuttle was heated to 2,000 K on its leading edge, and so employed an extremely heat-resistant but fragile silica thermal protection system. The Skylon design does not require such a system, instead opting for using a far thinner yet durable reinforced ceramic skin. However, due to turbulent flow around the wings during re-entry, some parts of Skylon would need to be actively cooled.

Wheels and Runway
At a gross takeoff weight of 275 tonnes, of which 220 tonnes is propellant, the vehicle is capable of placing 12 tonnes into an equatorial low Earth orbit. A reinforced runway will be needed to tolerate the high equivalent single wheel load. It will possess a retractable undercarriage with high pressure tyres and water-cooled brakes. If problems were to occur just before a take-off the brakes would be applied to stop the vehicle, the water boiling away to dissipate the heat. Upon a successful take-off, the water would be jettisoned, thus reducing the weight of the undercarriage, in the C1 design 1200 kg of water allows the weight of the brakes alone to be reduced from over 3000 kg to around 415 kg. During landing, the empty vehicle would be far lighter, and hence the water would not be needed.


Specifications
Crew: None, remote controlled from ground (The proposed Skylon Personnel/Logistics Module (SPLM) has provision for a Captain)
Capacity: 0 (up to 24 passengers in the SPLM, or potential for up to 30 passengers (in a special passenger module))
Payload:
15,000 kg nominal (33,000 lb nominal)
17,000 kg (37,000 lb) to equatorial 160 km (99 mi) orbit from equatorial launch site
approx 2,800 kg (6,200 lb) to 98° (sun-synchronous) 600 km (373 mi) orbit from equatorial launch site
Length: 83.133 m (272.75 ft)
Wingspan: 26.818 m (87.99 ft)
Height: approx 13.5 m (44 ft)
Empty weight: 53,400 kg (117,000 lb)
Loaded weight: 325,000 kg (717,000 lb)
Powerplant: 2 × SABRE 4 synergistic combined cycle rocket engine, 2,000 kN (450,000 lbf) each
Fuselage diameter: 6.3 m (20.67 ft)
Maximum speed:
Orbital (air-breathing Mach 5.14, rocket Mach 27.8)
Service ceiling: 28,500 m air-breathing, 90 km SABRE ascent, 600 km exoatmospheric (93,500 ft air breathing, 56 mi rocket ascent, 373 mi exoatmospheric)
Specific impulse: 4,100 seconds (40,000 N-s/kg)-9,200 seconds (90,000 N-s/kg) air-breathing, 460 seconds (4,500 N-s/kg) rocket, 465.2 seconds (4,562 N-s/kg) orbital
SABRE engine thrust/weight ratio: up to 14 atmospheric


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Re: Skylon (Reusable Spaceplane)

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Re: Reaction Engines Ltd. Skylon (Reusable Spaceplane)

Post by The Armchair Soldier »

A concept from BAE Systems for a "Hypersonic Response Aircraft" which uses SABRE engines similar to those being developed by Reaction Engines:

forces of the future could be using rapid response aircraft equipped with engines capable of propelling those aircraft to hypersonic speeds - similar to the Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE) which is currently being developed by Reaction Engines Limited, a small British company in which BAE Systems has invested £20.6 million.[/quote]

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Re: Reaction Engines Ltd. Skylon (Reusable Spaceplane)

Post by SKB »

Reaction Engines Ltd Strengthens Management Team and Establishes US-based Subsidiary
(Reaction Engines Ltd Press Release)
Reaction Engines Ltd., a UK based company developing a new class of aerospace engine, today
announces the strengthening of its leadership team with two senior management appointments and
the establishment of a US-based subsidiary to lead its engagement with potential US government
and industry partners.

The company has appointed Mark Wood to the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer &
Engineering Director, with responsibility for operational leadership, improving the efficiency and
effectiveness of the business through integration, collaboration and operational best practices.
Mark Wood joins Reaction Engines from Safran Power UK, where he most recently held the position
of Engineering Director, with responsibility for Safran Power Engineering in the UK and for
engineering services across the whole Power division. He will report to Mark Thomas, Reaction
Engines’ Chief Executive Officer.

He will shape the company’s organisational development for the future and take on functional
leadership of the Engineering Team, enabling Richard Varvill to focus on Chief Engineering the SABRE
engine & technologies.

Mark Thomas said “I am delighted to welcome Mark Wood on board. He has over 20 years’
experience in the aerospace industry and a very relevant and impressive track record of successfully
delivering complex engineering programmes. He brings additional strength to Reaction Engines’
leadership team as we continue to grow the Company. Mark has hit the ground running and is
integrating well. I look forward to working with him and know that his energy and experience will
have a positive effect on everyone.”

Mark Wood said “I am really excited to be joining Reaction Engines. The technologies that have been
developed to date are truly cutting edge and I am delighted to be able to be part of the future
growth of the company. I look forward to working with Mark Thomas and the team as we continue
on this exciting journey.”

Reaction Engines has also established a new US-based subsidiary, Reaction Engines Inc. to support
the expansion of the company’s development efforts and lead engagement with potential US
government and industry partners.

The company has appointed Dr. Adam Dissel, an aerospace leader with over 15 years’ experience in
the development of advanced vehicle systems, to lead the new subsidiary as President of Reaction

Engines Inc. Dr. Dissel joins Reaction Engines Inc. from Lockheed Martin Space Systems where he
served as System Architect for Responsive Space. He will report to Mark Thomas, Chief Executive
Officer of Reaction Engines Ltd.

Mark Thomas commented “The establishment of a US office is the obvious next step for us, building
on excellent work done under a collaborative R&D agreement with future export markets in mind. I
am delighted that Adam has joined the team as President of Reaction Engines Inc. His skillset,
experience and strong customer focus is very relevant to the task ahead and I look forward to
working together to grow this part of our business.”

Dr. Adam Dissel, President of Reaction Engines Inc., said “I have followed the impressive progress of
Reaction Engines and the SABRE engine with great interest for many years, and I am thrilled to now
join such a fantastically skilled group of people and work towards future development and
partnership opportunities in the US. The SABRE engine class is the most exciting new evolution in
propulsion in decades and I am eager to advance the applications where these technologies could
result in breakthrough system capabilities in high-speed flight and space access.”

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Re: Reaction Engines Ltd. Skylon (Reusable Spaceplane)

Post by jonas »

As the European Space Agency is involved in the Sabre project, how will Brexit effect it. Looking at the above post, if the ESA pulls out of the programme are we destined to once again see cutting edge UK innovation taken up by the the USA.

http://www.defenceonline.co.uk/2017/05/ ... test-site/

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Re: Reaction Engines Ltd. Skylon (Reusable Spaceplane)

Post by Defiance »

ESA is external to the EU (Canada is a contributor, as an example) so it's not impossible that the UK continue to contribute post Brexit.

At the end of the day REL will go where the money is coming from, if it ain't coming from the UK/Europe then they'll go to the US rather than starve.

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Re: Reaction Engines Ltd. Skylon (Reusable Spaceplane)

Post by jonas »

Defiance wrote:ESA is external to the EU (Canada is a contributor, as an example) so it's not impossible that the UK continue to contribute post Brexit.

At the end of the day REL will go where the money is coming from, if it ain't coming from the UK/Europe then they'll go to the US rather than starve.
TKS for that.

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Re: Reaction Engines Ltd. Skylon (Reusable Spaceplane)

Post by Timmymagic »

If it reached the point where they had no funds that may be the case. But Alan Bond and REL have always made clear that the business model is dependent on not being subject to ITAR.

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Re: Reaction Engines Ltd. Skylon (Reusable Spaceplane)

Post by Defiance »

Timmymagic wrote:If it reached the point where they had no funds that may be the case. But Alan Bond and REL have always made clear that the business model is dependent on not being subject to ITAR.
Business models can change. If we won't fund it to the level it needs and there's a big pot of money in the US, you honestly reckon they will turn it down?

As an aspiration for the Company it's good, but technologically enthusiastic people with families and mortgages might consider it differently.

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Re: Reaction Engines Ltd. Skylon (Reusable Spaceplane)

Post by Enigmatically »

Defiance wrote:
Timmymagic wrote:If it reached the point where they had no funds that may be the case. But Alan Bond and REL have always made clear that the business model is dependent on not being subject to ITAR.
Business models can change. If we won't fund it to the level it needs and there's a big pot of money in the US, you honestly reckon they will turn it down?

As an aspiration for the Company it's good, but technologically enthusiastic people with families and mortgages might consider it differently.
They aren't trying to avoid ITAR because of any sense of morals. Just as was said it would mess up their business model. So those with mortgages would probably agree.

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Re: Reaction Engines Ltd. Skylon (Reusable Spaceplane)

Post by matt00773 »

Rolls Royce and Boeing have invested £26.5m into the REL Sabre engine. The total investment for the last three years is now £100m.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-43732035

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Re: Reaction Engines Ltd. Skylon (Reusable Spaceplane)

Post by shark bait »

Good news, and good to see British companies investing, which should hopefully keep the tech closer to home.
@LandSharkUK

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Re: Reaction Engines Ltd. Skylon (Reusable Spaceplane)

Post by Timmymagic »

If anyone is interested in Skylon and Sabre I'd heartily recommend a trip over to the NASA Spaceflight forums. There's a about 6 concurrent threads devoted to it with thousands of posts going back years by a lot of informed posters, including some by the team at REL.

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/

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Re: Reaction Engines Ltd. Skylon (Reusable Spaceplane)

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I should add you could get lost for years in there :D

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Re: Reaction Engines Ltd. Skylon (Reusable Spaceplane)

Post by matt00773 »

There's a story about a new hypersonic airliner from Boeing which will go 5 times the speed of sound. It mentions the SABRE engine from Reaction - though not sure if this is what Boeing have in mind as that theoretically goes up to 25 times the speed of sound.

https://thewest.com.au/business/aviatio ... b88879795z

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Re: Reaction Engines Ltd. Skylon (Reusable Spaceplane)

Post by RetroSicotte »

matt00773 wrote:There's a story about a new hypersonic airliner from Boeing which will go 5 times the speed of sound. It mentions the SABRE engine from Reaction - though not sure if this is what Boeing have in mind as that theoretically goes up to 25 times the speed of sound.

https://thewest.com.au/business/aviatio ... b88879795z
The whole Mach 25+ thing is the Skylon type out of atmosphere rocket, not the airliner. The Reaction powered liner is also around Mach 5.

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Re: Reaction Engines Ltd. Skylon (Reusable Spaceplane)

Post by Cooper »

I sometimes feel I've grown old waiting for this thing.....oh, wait a minute, I BLOODY WELL HAVE.

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Re: Reaction Engines Ltd. Skylon (Reusable Spaceplane)

Post by Timmymagic »

Alan Bond retired the other week....lets hope he gets to see his dream become reality.

There is a lot of progress being made now, thank god...Reaction Engines are also building a testing facility in the US at present not sure what the aim is there.


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Re: Reaction Engines Ltd. Skylon (Reusable Spaceplane)

Post by topman »

Had some dealings with them a little while ago, it's interesting although it'll we'll all be waiting some time yet to see anything in the sky.

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Re: Reaction Engines Ltd. Skylon (Reusable Spaceplane)

Post by Timmymagic »

It will be. But the progress now is really coming along.

I didn't know much about the US facility though....following the work with the Air Force Lab in the states they're clearly targeting more US investment. Man sized budgets over there. Hopefully when they run the engine and it works, its going to open the floodgates for interest and cash.

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Re: Reaction Engines Ltd. Skylon (Reusable Spaceplane)

Post by topman »

Having been down there a year or so ago, they are all genuinely enthusiastic about the whole thing. They know they've a mountain to climb but they are sure it's a matter of when not if. It's quite refreshing to see, me I'm a bit more sceptical. But that's probably me!

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Re: Reaction Engines Ltd. Skylon (Reusable Spaceplane)

Post by albedo »

Not sure how much of this is news, but a useful summary:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-47832920

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Re: Reaction Engines Ltd. Skylon (Reusable Spaceplane)

Post by Zealot »

MoD awards hypersonic propulsion contract to Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and Reaction Engines

https://www.pesmedia.com/hypersonic-pro ... n-engines/

Things are starting to get spicy!

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Re: Reaction Engines Ltd. Skylon (Reusable Spaceplane)

Post by Caribbean »

Zealot wrote:MoD awards hypersonic propulsion contract to Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and Reaction Engines

https://www.pesmedia.com/hypersonic-pro ... n-engines/

Things are starting to get spicy!
Good grief - the association of Skylon, hypersonic engines and Project Tempest is rather intriguing - is Tempest going to have orbital capabilities? :D
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
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Re: Reaction Engines Ltd. Skylon (Reusable Spaceplane)

Post by cky7 »

Great news, we need to do something or risk being frozen out of hypersonic. There has already been talk amongst China, Russia and US about ypersonic tech being limited to only them, similar to how the nuclear nations see nuclear proliferation now. We’d never be anywhere near top table again if that happened.

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